Nike + iPod Sport Kit
October 18, 2007
[The Nike + iPod Sport Kit](http://www.apple.com/ipod/nike/gear.html) is training people to monitor their physical state in real time. The great thing about the sport kit is not the wireless pedometer, but the integration of the pedometer into a relatively rich system that allows you to program your goals, compare results with others, and receive feedback during a run. This month Nike released a [wristwatch controller](http://www.gadgetell.com/2007/10/nike-quietly-announces-the-amp-sport-remote-control/).
Earlier this week, The New York Times ran a story in the business section about Nike’s investment in [social and physical feedback systems.](http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/14/business/media/14ad.html?adxnnlx=1192738661-&pagewanted=all)
The story’s main concern was the impact of this investment on traditional media advertising budgets. But I was struck by acknowledgment that Nike is under-pricing the devices as a way of inducing runners to become more deeply engaged with the company. If you use their sport kit to track your run, you are going to be visiting their web site to see your results.
There are countless different ways to imagine communities forming around real-time tracking and feedback. But Nike’s experiment points toward these communities forming around corporate sponsors.
> Behind the shift is a fundamental change in Nike’s view of the role of advertising. No longer are ads primarily meant to grab a person’s attention while they’re trying to do something else — like reading an article. Nike executives say that much of the company’s future advertising spending will take the form of services for consumers, like workout advice, online communities and local sports competitions.
> The company plans to use the Nike+ idea in other sports categories, which could include basketball, tennis and soccer. While $29 for a Nike+ sensor hardly covers the cost of the device and the site maintenance and customer service, Mr. Edwards coolly points out that Nike+ is as much about marketing as it is about product.